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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       Jan. 25, 1996 V4, #14
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Implanting a 'Telescope' in an Eye to Improve Vision.

An innovative device invented in Israel is a tiny telescope, for implanting in an eye, to improve vision among patients with deteriorating eyesight. It is called an Intra-Ocular Telescopic Lens and is implanted in an operation resembling surgery for cataracts. Dr. Yitzhak Lifschitz, an eye surgeon at Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv, developed the lens which embodies a tiny telescope, retaining some vision with a deteriorating retina. The condition affects people over the age of 60.

Will German Soldiers Patrol the Golan?

By Kyle King (VOA-Bonn)

Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres visits Germany today amid speculation he may ask for German participation in an international peacekeeping force for the Golan Heights. Peres has denied press reports he is planning to make the request, but his statement has done little to dampen interest in the idea.

German Defense Minister Volker Ruhe said Israel has not asked Germany for troops for a possible peacekeeping mission on the Golan, so there is no reason to speculate about it.

Peres has denied Israeli newspaper reports he will make the request when he meets with Chancellor Helmut Kohl today in Munich. But German, American and Israeli newspapers quote officials from all three countries as saying the idea sounds plausible.

German officials say Israel expressed an interest in German troops taking part in a multinational peacekeeping force as early as last June, during Kohl's visit to Israel.

Some analysts say the idea has appeal because it would answer demands by Syrian President Hafez al Assad, who reportedly wants a non-US contingent to any force that would provide security in the event Israel agrees to withdraw from the territory. Israel captured the strategic heights from Syria in the 1967 war. Syria wants the territory back, before it will agree to a peace treaty.

Analysts say a German pledge to contribute troops to any multinational force for the heights would also be a valuable boost to the Middle-East peace process. In addition to close economic and political ties with Israel, Germany also enjoys good relations with Syria.

During his visit, Peres will be awarding Kohl with the president's medal for humanitarianism. The award, from B'nai B'rith, is in recognition of Kohl's work to foster German-Israeli relations and his support of the peace process.

Will Peres and Assad Meet Soon?

By Ron Pemstein (VOA-Washington)

Negotiators from Israel and Syria have begun their second round of talks Wednesday at the Wye Conference Center on the eastern shore of Maryland.

The negotiations resumed with the addition of two generals from the Syrian side, two generals from the Israelis and one general from the US. They have joined the diplomats who took part in the first round of talks at the center late last year and earlier this month.

Secretary of State Warren Christopher has said the security issue is the core problem blocking an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Syria has been demanding a total withdrawal as its condition for a peace settlement.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns says it is still too early in the negotiations to bring together Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

"We don't know if a breakthrough will occur, if it does occur, in February, March, April or May. So therefore we cannot prescribe now and will not prescribe now the nature of a meeting. We're not willing to say they should be brought in at the end or the middle. It's up to them."

Is Arafat Backing Down From Revising PLO Charter?

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and the newly elected Palestinian president, Yasir Arafat, have called for reconciliation between their peoples and pledged to meet their timetable for negotiating the next and final stage of their peace process. The statements came after the first meeting between the two men since Saturday's Palestinian elections. Arafat called the Palestinian elections proof that his people want to strengthen the peace process.

Peres congratulated Arafat on the elections, and his 88 percent victory, and said the two leaders now have three main projects -- amending the Palestinian Charter to remove anti-Israel clauses, as promised, fighting terrorism and expanding people-to-people contacts to build a real peace.

Arafat endorsed the people-to-people idea, but was non-committal on the sensitive Charter amendment issue, saying the decision is now in the hands of the members of the Palestinian National Council. Peres has said failure to amend the Charter could stall the peace process.
Arafat also downplayed comments he made earlier that there could be a Palestinian state within the next year and a half, saying it will be a subject of the next round of negotiations, which are scheduled to begin in May and could last three years.

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